Buses, Dating and Coming Full Circle in Christchurch

The Airport

I’m sitting at the airport again, this time preparing to board a plane from Christchurch to Auckland.

The trip represents a few things for me.

First, it’s my final departure from the South Island here in New Zealand. Up until this point, I’ve spent the vast majority of my time in the bottom part of the country, and the North Island is still relatively new and unexplored territory on my mental map.

Second, since Christchurch has been my home base in NZ, it feels like I’m really and truly leaving home again, a feeling that I’ve had several times since I started Exile Lifestyle, and one that is always a little surreal.

Third, it represents a series of new challenges I hadn’t yet encountered, which is good in that I’m learning and struggling and getting the most out of my experience, but bad in that it really kind of sucks and makes leaving a whole lot more difficult.

The Bus Ride

I took a bus ride yesterday, which is something I don’t often do since I’ve always lived in the City Center of Christchurch, where everything is within easy waking distance.

But I found myself on this bus, and it was like I had hopped on a Disneyland ride entitled ‘Colin Wright, This Is Your Chch Life!’ (Chch is the abbreviation many Kiwis use for Christchurch).

As I sat there, leaning back in my seat and gazing out the slightly-blurry windows, we passed landmark after landmark in my short history in the city.

I’d be staring blankly, unfocusing my eyes and quietly enjoying the relative silence of the bus interior, and them BAM! My eyes auto-focus in on the hostel I stayed at when I first arrived in town, jarring my attention back to the fact that this is my last day here.

As soon as I’m able to push down the flood of memories and associations, WHACK! Slapped in the face by a blurry view of the first intersection that I learned and used as a point of reference to find my way around the city.

KAPOW! There’s the real estate office in the middle of nowhere that I had to hike over to several times to get my apartment rental settled.

THUNK! There’s the lookout point that my good friend Melissa showed me my first week in town.

WHUMP! There’s the empty pizza restaurant my buddy Nathan was thinking about renting for the first location of the new fish and chips chain he’s setting up.

By the end of the bus ride I was more than a little punch-drunk, head full of reminiscent fluff and eyes still a little blurry, though no longer from the bus windows.

Moving On

Christchurch is an amazing place full of amazing things. It’s a smallish city by international standards, but the culture is fantastic, the beer and wine is great, and the food is good.

It’s also the first place that I’ve been out on a handful of dates with someone who I’ve really felt a ‘more than friends’ connection to.

I kept thinking, under other circumstances….but in these kinds of situations you can’t really think about that, because I have my priorities, and she has hers, and we met in the middle and had a good time. Trying to make it anything more or less than it was would do the whole situation and the time we DID have together an injustice.

I’m parting ways with her for now, but I’m sure I’ll see her again somewhere in the world, someday, when we’re both a bit different and have even more to share with and learn from one another.

Similarly, I’m leaving Christchurch for now, but I’ll be back.

But even if I cannot for some reason, I’ve seriously enjoyed the experience, taken something away from it and become a better person for it.

And at the end of the day, that’s what this trip and LIFE is all about.

28 comments

  1. Unbelievable post…I always hear to be an interesting writer you have to lead an interesting life. I’d say you have both covered. Keep it up.

  2. Unbelievable post…I always hear to be an interesting writer you have to lead an interesting life. I’d say you have both covered. Keep it up.

  3. Sweet perspective you’ve got there. I appreciate that you appreciate all of the little things that matter and add up to memories and experiences, but don’t let them blur your vision and hold you back. Live it up, and safe travels!

  4. Sweet perspective you’ve got there. I appreciate that you appreciate all of the little things that matter and add up to memories and experiences, but don’t let them blur your vision and hold you back. Live it up, and safe travels!

  5. Good on ya, mate. Sounds like an amazing experience. Good to know the experiment is living up to the billing. New Zealand is still, by a significant margin, the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. I’m wondering if Iceland can compare. Think that’s where i’m off to next.

  6. Good on ya, mate. Sounds like an amazing experience. Good to know the experiment is living up to the billing. New Zealand is still, by a significant margin, the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. I’m wondering if Iceland can compare. Think that’s where i’m off to next.

  7. good to hear you’ve had a good time in my old home town.. I’ve actually just arrived here back from China and depart for Auckland on Sat. are you in Auckland long?

  8. good to hear you’ve had a good time in my old home town.. I’ve actually just arrived here back from China and depart for Auckland on Sat. are you in Auckland long?

  9. @Barista: Thanks! I think living a somewhat interesting life helps, but I think the most masterful writers can make the everyday interesting. I’m not there yet, so I still go out of my way to live interestingly to compensate :)

    @SimplyMe: Thanks! The gold is in the details, usually, and it’s amazing how little details can come back from the dark pits of your mind when you least expect it. That’s the good stuff, though, so I always try to tuck them away for later when I can.

    @Gianpaolo: Oooh, I really want to go to Iceland. Might wait for the unpronounceable volcano to settle down a bit first, though.

    @Justin: Good ol’ Chch! Yeah, I’ll be on the North Island until the 17th, and back and forth in and out of Auckland during that time.

  10. @Barista: Thanks! I think living a somewhat interesting life helps, but I think the most masterful writers can make the everyday interesting. I’m not there yet, so I still go out of my way to live interestingly to compensate :)

    @SimplyMe: Thanks! The gold is in the details, usually, and it’s amazing how little details can come back from the dark pits of your mind when you least expect it. That’s the good stuff, though, so I always try to tuck them away for later when I can.

    @Gianpaolo: Oooh, I really want to go to Iceland. Might wait for the unpronounceable volcano to settle down a bit first, though.

    @Justin: Good ol’ Chch! Yeah, I’ll be on the North Island until the 17th, and back and forth in and out of Auckland during that time.

  11. I’m in Auckland staying in the city until the 21st so if you’re bored give me a holla and we can head for a drink.

  12. I’m in Auckland staying in the city until the 21st so if you’re bored give me a holla and we can head for a drink.

  13. Wow, that really brought it home for me horse. I’d say I had a tear in my eye, but I’m not gonna leave myself that open for a gay joke. It’s been a pleasure spending the last few months with you. Its seems like only yesterday i was picking you up from the airport. What a short amount of time it’s been, but it goes to show that time isn’t necessarily a key ingredient for creating a great friendship. You’ve grown me greatly and I certainly feel that i am a better person for having known you.
    Good luck horse, catch you for a chai sometime.

  14. Wow, that really brought it home for me horse. I’d say I had a tear in my eye, but I’m not gonna leave myself that open for a gay joke. It’s been a pleasure spending the last few months with you. Its seems like only yesterday i was picking you up from the airport. What a short amount of time it’s been, but it goes to show that time isn’t necessarily a key ingredient for creating a great friendship. You’ve grown me greatly and I certainly feel that i am a better person for having known you.
    Good luck horse, catch you for a chai sometime.

  15. @Justin: Cool! Got an email address I can hit you up at?

    @Nathan: You, brother, were a big part of what my New Zealand experience so great. I haven’t written you my big sappy goodbye email yet, so watch for that, but just know that I appreciate everything you did for me while I was here, and honestly for having taken the initiative to get in touch with me in the first place. I may not have flown in to Chch to begin with had you not put the idea in my head! We’ll meet again soon (aren’t you coming up to Auckland before I leave?), and I fully expect you to come visit me when I’m in NYC or Boston for the road trip.

  16. @Justin: Cool! Got an email address I can hit you up at?

    @Nathan: You, brother, were a big part of what my New Zealand experience so great. I haven’t written you my big sappy goodbye email yet, so watch for that, but just know that I appreciate everything you did for me while I was here, and honestly for having taken the initiative to get in touch with me in the first place. I may not have flown in to Chch to begin with had you not put the idea in my head! We’ll meet again soon (aren’t you coming up to Auckland before I leave?), and I fully expect you to come visit me when I’m in NYC or Boston for the road trip.

  17. Colin, I have been sorta keeping an eye on you back when I read Freelanceswitch regularly, and noticed t=you commmenting often. Now I come across your blog and find it very much to my liking. I had projected that someday I-d like to travel constantly while working on the road, and it is great to see somebody living this. Maybe I take up the lifestyle in the future, but for now I am glad it’s working out so well for you man.

  18. Colin, I have been sorta keeping an eye on you back when I read Freelanceswitch regularly, and noticed t=you commmenting often. Now I come across your blog and find it very much to my liking. I had projected that someday I-d like to travel constantly while working on the road, and it is great to see somebody living this. Maybe I take up the lifestyle in the future, but for now I am glad it’s working out so well for you man.

  19. @Yaco: Wow, I haven’t been to FreelanceSwitch in a while (great site, but I moved away from freelancing and haven’t been back since). Glad to have made a connection there, though, and that you’ve found my online home! Keep on doing what you do and expanding your network, and I’m sure you’ll be able to travel while working in no time. Your portfolio is solid, and that’s the hardest part.

  20. @Yaco: Wow, I haven’t been to FreelanceSwitch in a while (great site, but I moved away from freelancing and haven’t been back since). Glad to have made a connection there, though, and that you’ve found my online home! Keep on doing what you do and expanding your network, and I’m sure you’ll be able to travel while working in no time. Your portfolio is solid, and that’s the hardest part.

  21. Have an amazing journey, my friend! I’m heading out of Boulder, Colorado on a bicycle this Saturday riding all the way to Nelson, British Columbia for my first city of choice in Locational Independence as a Traveling Magi (astrologer). Thank you for your inspiration. I did sell most my collectibles and made $9400 on Ebay, so I bought a DROID phone with a solar powered charger, an I-pad to re-collect my books in a lighter format, and a new Mac book pro. I’ll think of you often while I’m riding through Wyoming next week toward the Grand Tetons. I had one of the listeners of my Cosmic Weather astrology podcast who is having a baby this week contact me and she asked me to stop in Laramie, WY to bless her child with an astrological reading of her destiny! I asked he is I should pack some Gold, Frankencense,and Myrrh too! LOL

    Anyway, hope to see you in Thailand! Have an amazing Road Trip!

    Kelly Lee Phipps

  22. Have an amazing journey, my friend! I’m heading out of Boulder, Colorado on a bicycle this Saturday riding all the way to Nelson, British Columbia for my first city of choice in Locational Independence as a Traveling Magi (astrologer). Thank you for your inspiration. I did sell most my collectibles and made $9400 on Ebay, so I bought a DROID phone with a solar powered charger, an I-pad to re-collect my books in a lighter format, and a new Mac book pro. I’ll think of you often while I’m riding through Wyoming next week toward the Grand Tetons. I had one of the listeners of my Cosmic Weather astrology podcast who is having a baby this week contact me and she asked me to stop in Laramie, WY to bless her child with an astrological reading of her destiny! I asked he is I should pack some Gold, Frankencense,and Myrrh too! LOL

    Anyway, hope to see you in Thailand! Have an amazing Road Trip!

    Kelly Lee Phipps

  23. Funnily enough, I feel sad too! Perhaps because I can relate to the feeling of leaving a place and it still being a place with so many fond memories attached to it. Can’t wait to read the next chapter. I hope you live it well!

  24. Funnily enough, I feel sad too! Perhaps because I can relate to the feeling of leaving a place and it still being a place with so many fond memories attached to it. Can’t wait to read the next chapter. I hope you live it well!

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